Bi Nguyen signs with One Championship: ‘Killer Bee’ becomes latest sensation to join fast-expanding promotion
- Nguyen became popular in the US after appearing on a reality TV series
- Vietnamese-American is set to join an open atomweight division
Reality TV star and rising MMA prospect Bi “Killer Bee” Nguyen has joined One Championship’s growing band of international fighters.
“I’m ready to represent America and Vietnam well. LETSGO,” the fighter posted.
The Vietnamese-American first announced the move overnight via social media and she will now enter One’s atomweight division, currently ruled by Angela “Unstoppable” Lee (9-0), the biggest MMA star there is in Asia.
Nguyen’s move follows the signings to the Singapore-based organisation of former UFC stars in ex-flyweight champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson (27-3-1), former lightweight champ Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez (29-6, one no contest) and emerging lightweight-welterweight talent Sage “Super” Northcutt (11-2).
One has also recently signed veteran Korean-Japanese welterweight Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama (14-6, two no contests), while former UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate has joined the organisation as vice-president.
While Nguyen might lack the in-cage experience of those fighters – with a professional record of 4-3 – the 29-year-old has built up a huge international fan base thanks to her appearances on the 37th series edition of the popular American reality TV show Survivor, titled “David versus Goliath”.
A knee injury limited Nguyen’s role to just four episodes of the show but already by then she had established herself as a star, with fans captivated by the fighter’s backstory.
Nguyen’s family arrived in the United States as political refugees when she was eight years old, her father having served alongside the defeated American forces in the Vietnam war. She later ran away from home before falling into an abusive relationship that only ended when her former partner was locked up behind bars.
While at her lowest ebb, Nguyen walked into the 4oz Fight Club in Houston – and she found her calling.
“At the beginning of my career I was fighting for myself, I was fighting for the girl who had been hurt. The girl who had no voice,” Nguyen told the Post in an earlier interview. “Now my life has shifted. I want to fight to help others. I’ve realised that the little I have figured out about life can help a lot of people. Social media showed me that. It made me feel very powerful in terms of helping others. It gives you a voice.”
Nguyen’s last MMA bout was for the US-based King of the Cage atomweight title but it ended with a second-round submission (via rear naked choke) to American Jayme “Atombomb” Hinshaw (4-3).
She now enters a One atomweight division that might soon be opened up wide, given Angela Lee’s attention has more recently focused on a shift up to the strawweight division and a challenge against incumbent Xiong “The Panda” Jingnan (13-1).
“My life has thrown up enough challenges so that nothing really fazes me,” the fighter said. “Now I just I say bring it on. I’ve always been a person who says ‘What’s the thing that scares me the most – let’s go that way’.”